Some like it hot, some are born to be mild, but everyone loves a decent curry. We’ve navigated our way through the Naan breads to bring you a list you’ll Phall in love with at first bite.
It’s 1810 and Britain’s first curry establishment has just opened in London. It’s namesake the Hindoostane Coffee House was opened by a charismatic Bengali traveller, surgeon, entrepreneur and captain Sake Dean Mahomed. Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing but sadly the restaurant only lasted a year due to lack of business. Fast forward some 200 and a bit more years later and Britain’s love of spice has only grown. The chicken Tikka masala held the top-spot as the country’s favourite dish for some time and the delights of Indian cuisine is appreciated nationally.
Here in Liverpool, there was a time when curry houses were slightly shabby venues, serving suspiciously fluorescent dishes and flat Cobra beer. But that was then. Now the city is bustling with some amazing restaurants, offering more than just a slap-dash curry. Our local curry house is something we all hold in precious regard. A place of refuge where the food is red-hot and the drinks are ice cold and a place we often find any excuse to return back to, just to mop the final bit of sauce up.
Indian restaurants in Liverpool offer a Bollywood symphony of flavours and cooking styles, from homely dhal to modern vegan dosas, do yourself a favour and head to one of these places immediately. In no particular order, here’s some of the top curry houses in Liverpool. Well what are you waiting for, dhal’ings?
Mowgli Street Food
A restaurant that needs no introductions. Nisha Katona, curry evangelist extraordinaire, is on a voyage of bringing a little bit of India to Liverpool with her restaurant called Mowgli. One chat bomb at a time. People love her food so much she’s had to open a second Liverpool venue. Only order the Himalayan cheese on toast if you’re prepared for a life-altering experience.
Address: 69 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4EZ
In a world constantly trying to change you, one of the hardest thing to do is stay the same. They’ve been going since 1970 so as well as being one of, if not the, longest serving restaurant in Liverpool, they’ve also perfected the art of Indian cuisine. Grab a booth, pull over the red curtains and karate chop through a mountain of poppadoms. Oh, don’t act like you don’t do it.
Address: 67 Renshaw St, L1 2SJ
The best food stops conversation and The Yukti definitely does that so get your questions out before the starters come. Fine dining and traditional Indian food collide in Old Swan. Yukti is all about art and the food leaving the kitchen here is so beautiful we don’t know whether to eat it or get our picture taken with it. From your classic Tikka to your lobster tail masala, this is one place you must visit.
Address: 393 Prescot Rd, Liverpool L13 3BS
Lark Lane is famous for its weird and wonderful characters, Bohemian vibe and places to eat and get drunk. It’s a great formula, no wonder they’ve never changed it. Despite such a modest stretch, two Indian restaurants occupy the streets and whilst we can vouch for both, we often find ourselves gravitating towards Red Fort. Maybe it’s something in the mango chutney.
Address: 15-21 Lark Lane, Aigburth, Liverpool L17 8UW
Ever since opening the now institutional first KO on Lodge Lane back in 2008, the duo behind KO Grill have made a name for themselves within the community. With Middle-eastern influences in the form of falafel and hummus to a show-stopping grill for melt-in-the-mouth shawarma’s, we often return back for the madras. It’s super spicy, brings you to life and is the perfect accompaniment with their freshly made buttery naans.
Address: 23 Bold Street, L1 4DN
Nestled in the leafy suburbs of Woolton Village, Holdi are a hidden treasure, situated between Sainsbury’s entrance and Lloyd’s Bank on Woolton Street. They only use freshest authentic high quality ingredients including their own special blends of ground spices for exquisite Indian cuisine every single time. In 2015 they were up for a Curry Oscar award, it’s worth visiting alone just for that.
Address: 5B Woolton St, Woolton Village, Liverpool L25 5NH
“Sanskruti” which means Tradition or Culture has been derived from the word ‘Sanskrit’ which is believed to be world’s oldest language and being originated in India. It’s a veggie and vegan restaurant but not just for those who follow that lifestyle, it’s delicious to everyone. The menu traverses the Indian sub-continent: from the ‘Thalis’ of Gujarat to the ‘Dosas’ of South India and from the ‘Chaats’ of Mumbai to the rich, unforgettable taste of North Indian curries. Try the jackfruit curry.
Address: Lombard Chambers, Bixteth Street, Liverpool L3 9LP
Light of Bengal
Out of the three years or so we’ve been going to Light of Bengal, we can’t ever remember having a bad meal. A jewel in the crown in Liverpool’s suburbia, the restaurant stays open until midnight on weekends. The interior is exactly what you’d expect in a traditional curry house; dark red seats, an unusually patterned carpet and the occasional glass-stained tiger creeping about. Look out for the fiery red chilli sauce you get with your poppadoms, it’s so good we’d replace our taps with it.
Address: 286 Aigburth Rd, Liverpool L17 9PW
Mayur brings authentic Indian cuisine and hospitality to Liverpool. A large portion of food is prepared using a tandoor oven where bread, fish, meat and game are cooked low in oils and fat. Established favourites such as masalas, jalfrezis, and biryanis are on offer, and the executive chef regularly creates seasonal delicacies reflecting particular regions of India. If the food wasn’t beautiful enough, there’s the interior.
Address: 130 Duke Street, Liverpool L1 5AG
This restaurant has been heralded by many as one of the best restaurants in town for Indian cuisine. Located right by Echo Arena, it has been the perfect pit-stop for many over the years. The restaurant itself offers modern and stylish décor coupled with famed food and service. Even if the food wasn’t tasty, we’d be half tempted to return for the staff alone. But it is tasty and thank god. The tray that comes with the poppadoms is frankly immense. How on Earth do they get chopped onions to taste so good?
Address: Kings Dock, Keel Wharf, Liverpool L3 4BX
Tikka chance on Madhari, it’ll be worth it. Just two doors down from The Gulshan, the jury’s out on who’s the king of curry in the L19 area. We’re reluctantly going to describe it as “cheap and cheerful”. Reluctant because you usually have to have TripAdvisor account to use it and we don’t. Madhari is the kind of restaurant everyone wants on their doorstep and you’ll be visiting or having it for delivered for years to come.
Address: 552 Aigburth Rd, Liverpool L19 3QG
Remora is proof that good things come in small packages. Fairly modest and unassuming – Remora is a favourite haunt for many and we return often for the homemade Bangla Lamb and exotic vegetables. The restaurant is also unlicensed which means you can rock up with any tipple you’d like, all whilst keeping the bill down.
Address: 4 S Hunter St, Liverpool L1 9JG
Nepalese restaurants are like buses, you wait for one and two come along at once. There’s an analogy we never thought we’d make. But yes, it’s true, sunny Waterloo is now home to two Nepalese restaurants with remarkably similar names. The menu is full of delicious things incredibly hard to pronounce. Their wonderful array of curries are all worth trying and they won’t blow your head off either, it’s all about savouring the flavour here.
Address: 114 South Rd, Waterloo, Liverpool L22 0ND
453 Restaurant Bar And Grill
Not the usual namesake you’d expect for a good curry but looks can be deceiving. Amid steaks, wok-friendly dishes and some surprisingly good milkshakes, 453 doesn’t adhere to the status quo. We often find ourselves returning for the ‘Rezalla’, a creamed yoghurt based sauce topped with fried green chilli and onions. Spicy, creamy and luxurious – it’s the perfect symphony of flavours.
Address: 453 Smithdown Rd, Liverpool L15 3JL
In a world full of doubt, we all need something to rely on. People, places and takeaways. Yes it’s exciting to try the new and to dabble in the glamorous but sometimes you just need a guaranteed good meal. Light and fluffy pilau rice, a lamb Balti that does the famous dish justice and more. All that and you don’t even have to leave the couch to try. Or put on pants. Whatever floats your boat.
Address: 116 Breck Rd, Liverpool L4 2RD
A delightful and relaxed local Indian restaurant based in West Derby Village, serving authentic Indian cuisine for lovers of curry from all walks of life. The head chef, traditionally trained in the art of Indian cuisine, has experience of over 18 years. His experience is old enough to buy its own drink. The Naga Chilli is addictively spicy, make sure you have a cold Cobra when ordering.
Address: 41-45 Mill Ln, West Derby, Liverpool L12 7HZ
Honourable mentions: Gulshan, Millon, Siddiki, Smithdown Balti, Da Mount Ghurka, Rumi, Saffron, Masterchef.